Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ten Things to Plant Now (or soon)

What do you do after you've had the little pity party to mourn the end of summer?  Plant some fall stuff!  Here are some things that have worked well for me in zone 6a (Southern New York).

1)  Beets – Even if a full beet doesn’t grow, you can still harvest the greens before frost.

2)   Garlic – Funnest crop ever.  Plant in late October or November before the ground freezes.  You can get special garlic for growing from a mail order source like Miller’s nursery, or from your farmers market (but be sure to ask the farmer if the garlic has been treated to prevent sprouting).  Break the bulb apart and plant the single cloves about 6” apart, and 4” deep.  In July, that single clove will have formed a full head!

3)   Cover Crop – cover crops are a way of fertilizing your vegetable beds by adding nitrogen. Ryegrass, buckwheat or vetch can be planted in mass sowings.  The  leaves and roots that die and decompose through the winter are turned over and worked into the soil. Cover crop seeds can be purchased through Johnny Seeds.

4)   Flower bulbs – October and November are the ideal time to plant tulip, daffodil, snow drop, and crocus bulbs.  Van Engelen is a great source for bulbs of all kinds.

5)   Radishes – with their short 30-day growing cycle, you should have a nice bunch before Thanksgiving if you put them in now. 

6)   Spinach – Spinach can be planted now and you’ll get a few leaves before frost, plus the seeds will overwinter and be among the first to sprout in the spring, giving you a headstart on all things green.

7)   Peas – If you have any pea seeds left over from your spring sowing, why not put in a row now?  You could get a pre-frost crop since they love cool sunny weather. 

8)   Arugula – Like spinach, arugula seeds overwinter well.  Leaves can be picked until frost, but leave the root in to send up more in the spring.

9)   Peonies – Fall is an ideal time to plant, divide or move peony crowns.  When you see their little red fingers reaching out of the March thaw, you know spring has arrived.

10)  Sow kale seeds at least two months before your first frost – and frost actually improves the flavor  of  kale!  This is a beautiful variety called Tuscan kale that I grew this year.  I’m also trying a mix of ornamental kales this time.

What else are you planting now?  Please share!


dennis said...

Dennis is planting to take a nap. (er, planning...)

TALON said...

It's nice to think that the growing season isn't over just yet...but this year we've been so busy with our kitchen renovation that the garden has been left (mostly) to its own devices. Yes, I feel totally guilty - lol!

I am, however, excited to put in some bulbs. I never seem to have quite enough of the early bloomers in the flower beds. I'm putting in some daffodils this year.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Its interesting to know that you are planning to get ready for autumn planting with cool veggies. We on the other opposite hemisphere is getting ready for warm loving vegetetables for spring planting. From last autumn, we still have some garlic, leek, peas and cauliflowers growing. how many bulbs of garlic are you planning to have?

Helen Lewis said...

Thanks for you post - it serves as a reminder for me to do some more planting. I planted some bok choy recently and they are on their third set of leaves now but I need to put more seeds in the ground this time.

catmint said...

happy fall, we're starting spring here (as Malay-Kadazan girl said). I'm not so much planting, but culling the spring wildflowers that are coming back too thickly.

tina said...

I am so behind on my planting but with your help and this post I might get out there soon.

Pam at HMG said...

We are planting tons of lettuce of all fabulous varieties. We've been told we make the best tasting salad mix people have ever had. When that comment comes from various vegetarians, we know we got it perfect. Thanks for your post - it's so good to remind people that they can continue to grow well into the winter especially if you throw in a little low tunnel or cold frame.

JGH said...

Dennis, I am planting to drag you out of your hiding place behind the TV next time!

Talon, kitchen renovations can be so stressful and I can definitely see why it would distract you from the garden!

Malay-Kadazen girl - looking forward to seeing what you're planting during your summer!

Helen, I have never planted bok choy, but I love it. Is that a cool weather crop?

Catmint - you have some nice blooms going there. I'll have to keep visiting you while our color is disappearing.

Tina, I'm a little behind too. Well, I might not even get around to some of it because I havent' ripped out all the summer stuff yet.

Pam, thanks for the reminder. Hoping to experiment with a row cover this year.

Stacey said...

Great list! I planted turnips, mizuna, mustard greens, several kinds of lettuce, mache, kale, chard, beets, radishes, tatsoi, pac choi. I'll planted garlic in late Nov. Yum yum. I planted bulbs in the little flower bed, adjacent to my vegetable plot.